Every newly appointed manager is going to promise to get the football club playing at the highest level and return former glory days and past achievements. With Derby County‘s new manager Nigel Clough, the added pressure is that the glory days came and went when his father, Brian Clough, was appointed Derby manager forty-two years ago, and took them from a similar position to where they are now, and made them League Champions and the following season took them to the semi-finals of the European Cup.
Last week’s game was postponed due to bad weather. It would have seen Nigel Clough’s first game in charge of Derby County playing Cardiff, just as Brian Clough’s Derby had done all those years ago. But after ten years in charge of non-league Burton Albion, Nigel is now about to find out if he really wants the added pressure of being a top English football league manager.
On Saturday Derby were at home against QPR, another team that have dropped out of the top league of English football. But Clough’s hone-coming was spoilt as QPR went on to win 2-0.
Before the game Nigel Clough had told reporters a couple of fringe players may leave the club, but he was happy with the squad he has inherited. After the match he told BBC Radio Derby that he needs to take the players back to basics, after a disappointing performance.
Clough has little time to get Derby back on track. They are currently in a battle to avoid relegation. In fact, relegation betting is starting to suggest that they are one of the favourites for the drop.
But aside from the Championship, victory in their next two games could see Nigel Clough being elevated towards the legend of his father. Tomorrow night Derby play Manchester United in the second leg of the League Cup at Old Trafford, where they protect a 1-0 lead from the first leg; and on Friday Derby entertain arch rivals Nottm Forest in the FA Cup 4th Round.
I’m sure, like me, most football fans of 40+ are willing him to succeed; and what better way to start than to reach a Wembley cup final by beating Alex Ferguson and Man Utd.